Friday, January 31, 2014 11:06

Review 231. Marissa Meyer – Cress.

13206828Title: Cress.
Author: Marissa Meyer.
Pages: 560.
Expected publication: February 4th 2014 by Feiwel & Friends 
Sort: Part 3 of ‘Lunar Chronicles.’ Part one: Cinder. ||| Part two: Scarlet.
Source: I borrowed an ARC from my friend Christina reads YA. Thanks Christina!
Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.  In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

Rating: 

You know you are reading a series by a very gifted author when she keeps delivering. This book was even better than I could hope for. Every character returns and the addition of the lovely Cress makes everything complete. l was swept away in the plot and the writing-style is so flowy and easy. This series vaguely reminds me of Harry Potter: every piece of information from the previous books seem to fall together and it makes me want to re-read them to see if I’ve missed anything before. I need Winter right now!

I’m overwhelmed by how good this book is, but I’ll try to capture the beauty and everything is spoiler free, even if you haven’t read Cinder or Scarlet yet (and if that’s the case, shame on you, what are you waiting for? I’m going to stare awkwardly and scary at you until you change it *stares*)
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 01:08

2nd Blogoversary.

NaamloosTwo years ago I started this little blog on February 4th and it’s amazing how far I’ve come. I’ve made contact with publishers, realized that authors aren’t scary and I started to be more active on Twitter. I hope to keep growing, to keep making friends all over the world and read books I normally wouldn’t read. I want to thank all of you, followers, commenters or just visitors, for all the friendship and time! Being part of this community is still something I enjoy every day and I hope to do it for many more years.

You might remember that I wanted to do something special for my Blogoversary? I’m not creative enough to come up with some spectacular, but thanks for Stephanie @ Hopeless Romantics I’m here to present you my new design!

I was planning to buy a pre-made design for my blog, but Stephanie contacted me when I left a comment saying I was thinking about buying her theme. She had a good idea for a design, so she created this one for me. Isn’t it a beauty? Together with her I came up with this colour scheme and I’m in love with it! I can’t stop staring at it. It feels so ‘me’ and it captures what my blog stands for. She is also incredibly kind and patience, so if you are looking for someone I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.

So, I'm already starting a sort-off celebration week, where I will be sharing two personal posts - or perhaps 3. We'll see! I already got some very positive and sweet feedback on Twitter, but definitely leave a comment telling me what you think about the design!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 11:34

Fairytale News | My love for Disney.


This is a 'new' feature I came up with. I will be talking about everything that has to do with reading. From pretty new covers to discussions about books. I will post them randomly.

If you are a follower or someone who regularly visits my blog, you’ll know by now that I’m a lover of Disney & fairy tales. There is something about these two that makes me feel extremely happy. Today I want to share you more about myself, starting with my top 3 favorite Disney movies. I’m inspired to share this topic, because recently there is something we call ‘#DisneyJourney’ on Twitter. Me and some other girls are rewatching all the Disney movies and it’s hilarious to see everyone’s comments. Note: I also like Disney Pixar and other animation companies, like DreamWorks.

Disney is magical to me. There are powerful lines and the movies contain much wisdom in my opinion. I don't love every movie they have made. Snow White is my least favorite princess and I'm not a huge fan of Pinocchio, but they still mean something to me :)

Saturday, January 25, 2014 21:44

Review 230. Rosamund Hodge – Cruel beauty.

15839984Title: Cruel Beauty.
Author: Rosamund Hodge.
Pages: 352.
Expected publication: January 28th 2014 by Balzer & Bray
Sort: Stand-alone.
Source: ARC from Publisher for a honest review.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him. With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people. But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her. As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.
Rating:

Like you all might know by now, Beauty and the beast is my favorite fairytale, so I was excited and scared for this book at the same time. There was no need for this, because it not only lived up to my expectations - it exceeded it. The first and most important thing I need to say is: I personally LOVED this book, but I don’t think this will work for everyone. It was a magical journey through a complex and interesting mix of fairytales and mythology for me, but I don't think everyone will feel that way.

I had a lot of trouble trying to write a coherent review to convey my love for this book and I hope it works.
Thursday, January 23, 2014 19:33

Fairytale News | The hard life of a reader (6)


'Mel on reading' is a little feature I created as part of my Fairytale news. It's my way to show my thoughts on topics that go from pet peeves in reading to my favorite things in books.

It has been a while since I talked about things that make our life as a reader harder. Today I want to share you three new problems we all might encounter.
Monday, January 20, 2014 14:49

Review 229. Adam Gidwitz - The Grimm conclusion.

Title: The Grimm conclusion.
Author: Adam Gidwitz.
Pages: 368.
Expected publication: October 8th 2013 by Dutton Juvenile.
Sort: Part three of ‘A tale dark and Grimm.'
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher.
Widely praised and beloved by children, adults, and critics alike, Adam Gidwitz delivers a third serving of eerie new landscapes and fear-inducing creatures in a story sure to delight and frighten fans old and new. In the final book in the series, Adam's brilliantly irreverent narrator leads readers through a fresh world of Grimm-inspired fairy tales, based on such classics as The Juniper Tree, the real story of Cinderella, and Rumpelstiltskin.
Rating:  

This series went downhill for me. I truly enjoyed the first book, the second was less interesting and this came close to being a train-wreck. This story lost the charm of the previous books. There was something off about the characters and the storyline.

The story is in big lines about the Juniper Tree, Cinderella and Little Brother & Little Sister. I still need to give him credits for the fact that he uses lesser known fairytales and manages to create a solid story with it. They are all combined in a fun mixture and the humorous tone is still there. It was an easy book to read and that saved The Grimm Conclusion from a 'DNF' rating.

The biggest problem were the unsympathetic characters. I didn't connected with them and couldn't care less about their fate. It's been a while since I've read this book and I don't even remember them. For me, that's a bad sign, because I'm pretty good at memorizing books. They just aren't memorable. There is also a strange twist where we end up in the modern world and this completely ruined the fairytale feeling for me. It felt like I was pulled out of the story and after that, I couldn't enjoy it anymore. It was hard to return and it didn't blend in.

I don't think I would recommend this series. It's perfectly okay to read the first book, because they are pretty much stand-alones, but this wasn't good.

Saturday, January 18, 2014 21:29

Review 228. Megan Shepherd - Her dark curiosity.

16182304Title: Her dark curiosity.
Author: Megan Shepherd.
Pages: 368.
Expected publication: January 28th 2014 by Balzer+Bray
Sort: Part two of ‘The madman’s daughter.’
Part 1: The madman’s daughter.
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher .

To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it.
Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her. As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again. As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

Rating
I wish I could say ‘I’m not sure where it all went wrong,’ because I know. This book suffers from the most horrible love-triangle I’ve seen last year and it contains irritating, annoying characters. Juliet is probably one of the worst characters of 2013. The good writing-style and overall interesting and unique storyline go to waste - and that is a true shame.
Thursday, January 16, 2014 15:19

Fairytale News | Pet Peeve: Title and series.


'Mel on reading' is a little feature I created as part of my Fairytale news. It's my way to show my thoughts on topics that go from pet peeves in reading to my favorite things in books.

Today I want to share you a pet peeve I’ve had for a while now. I don’t think I’ve seen this one on any other blog yet, so I’m interested to see if you share my opinion. And if not, I’d love to see why you are on the other side!

This pet peeve of mine is:

The first book has the same title as the name of the series.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 22:24

Top 10 Tuesday (30). Debuts of 2014.


I haven’t done these lists in a while, but I always adore this topic! I’m going to give you a little preview of the books I can’t wait for. To make it a little easier, I didn’t include titles without covers. I also tried to come up with titles I haven’t heard much about in the hope to introduce you with some new books!

Yvonne Ventresca – Pandemic. I’ve already told you about my career and current study of microbiology, so everything that has to do with outbreaks of sickness has my interest.
Kathryn Rose – Camelot burning. Mythological steampunk in the Arthurian era? Need I say more?
Sarah Rougley – Featherbound *freaks out* I seriously can NOT wait. It’s about ‘the twisted truth of Cinderella’
182110181799759117829175

Jessica Arnold – The looking glass. Find a diary, break a curse, trapped in a haunted hotel. I’m in!
Christina Farley – Gilded. Asian mythology, yes please.
Livia Blackburn – Midnight thief. High fantasy! Assassins guild!
188013451617325017566814
I’ve read this book and my gushing review will be up soon. I highly suggest to keep an eye on this book! Rosamund Hodge – Cruel beauty, a mixture of Beauty and the beast and mythology. I have an ARC waiting from Danielle L. Jensen – Stolen songbird and it sounds amazing. Trolls! Danielle Paige – Dorothy must die. If you know me well, you’d expect this book on my list.
158399841792677518053060

Leave a link to your list and let me know what you think about these books!

Sunday, January 12, 2014 14:53

Review 227. Malinda Lo - Ash.

AshTitle: Ash.
Author: Malinda Lo. Pages: 291.
Publication date: March 4th 2010 by Hodder Children's.
Sort: Stand-alone.
In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted. The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love—and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love. 

Rating:

This is an example of an 'okay' book. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't fantastic or life-changing either. It's a solid retelling of Cinderella with an unique twist of LGBT love.

Ash's mother recently died and her father announces - after a couple of weeks traveling for his job - that he found a new wife with two kids. After a short sickbed, her father dies and Ash's world changes in a drastic way. She has to leave everything she knows behind to life with her new 'family.' In order to pay her father's debts, she has to work in their household as maid. Wandering around the forest, Ash meets the elf Sidhean and the Royal King's huntress Kaisa. She must keep her promise to Sidhean when he helps her, but she can't ignore her growing feelings for Kaisa. 

This is my first LGBT book, but unfortunately, the romance fell flat to me. I like that Malinda went there and how the romance is subtle. There is no focus on the fact that it's about two lesbian girls and I love that. It didn't  feel forced, because love is love, no matter the genders. The thing is, I didn't feel the chemistry between Kaisa and Ash. They spend some time together and I can understand their friendship, but love?

What I also appreciate is the appearance of Sidhean. It was interesting to find out why he is so interested in Ash, but the downside is, that there isn't enough depth in his story. I don't understand his role and the solution from Ash to pay her debt to him was awkward and strange. I actually felt sad for him, because Ash promised him things only to get better from it.

I'd say to try this book if you want to look for something else in the fairy tale genre, but don't expect too much from it.

Friday, January 10, 2014 06:00

Epic Recs. January.

epic recssssssssss
You might be familiar with this concept. It was created by Amber & Judith to push each other to read certain books. They’ve opened it up for other bloggers as well and I teamed up with Juhina who is the blogger of Maji Bookshelf. Our first month I read 'The unbecoming of Mara Dyer' and Juhina read as 2nd recommendation 'This song will save your life.'

My recommendation for her:Leigh Bardugo - Shadow and bone.
When I found out that she hasn't read this book yet, I knew right away that I would use it as my epic recs! This book has a mixture of everything: swoonworthy love-triangle (yes, they do excist), a kick-ass MC and a good world-building.

My recommendation from Juhina:
Stephenie Meyer - The host.
I'm nervous about this book. I didn't like Twilight (at all) and I've heard mixed things about this book. This is going to be interesting!

Have you read (one of) these books? What did you think?

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 12:20

Fairytale News | What I look for in book boyfriends.


'Mel on reading' is a little feature I created as part of my Fairytale news. It's my way to show my thoughts on topics that go from pet peeves in reading to my favorite things in books.

I think we all have a certain type of character we fall for. Some people swoon over the bad guys, some look for the good guys, but there is so much more in between. Today I want to show you the different things I like in book boyfriends. For me, most of them are the quirky, humorous or silent/broody types. I like it when they have imperfections, because it makes them more interesting and realistic. I say no to the perfect, flawless hunks or the macho's.

Sunday, January 05, 2014 06:00

Review 226. Ruth Warburton – Witch finder.

18039069Title: Witch finder.
Author: Ruth Warburton.
Publication date: January 2nd 2014 by Hodder Children's Books.
Sort: Part one of ‘Witch finder’
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.

London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches. Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.

Rating:
"He would go back and he would kill the witch. Because there was no way out of this, save one: death. Hers.. or his."

This is another example of a good promise gone wrong. This book had everything: it promises witches and magic! And look at the pretty cover! Well, you are wrong. I am disappointed and frankly, deceived by the blurb.
Friday, January 03, 2014 12:15

Mission Impossible: Tackling series (update 1)

Naamloos
Last time, September 20th, I wrote this introduction post to this challenge. Mission impossible: tacking series. Today I’m going to show you the progress I’ve made so far.

My laptop broke down for the second time and the series document I was adjusting is gone for the second time. I hope to get my laptop back soon, so I can share you the stats. For now, I'm only able to share the series I finished in 2013 and the ones I want to finish in 2014:

Wednesday, January 01, 2014 12:34

Review 225. Brodi Ashton - Evertrue.

13626692Title: Evertrue.
Author: Brodi Ashton.
Expected publication: January 21st 2014 by Balzer + Bray
Sort: Conclusion of ‘Everneath.’
Part one: Everneath.
Part two: Everbound.
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher.
Now that Nikki has rescued Jack, all she wants is to be with him and graduate high school. But Cole tricked Nikki into feeding off him, and she’s begun the process of turning into an Everliving herself... which means she must feed on a Forfeit soon — or die. Terrified for her survival, Nikki and Jack begin a desperate attempt to reverse the process using any means possible. Even Cole, who they expected to fight them at every turn, has become an unlikely ally — but how long can it last? Nikki needs to feed on Cole to survive, Cole needs Nikki to gain the throne in the Everneath, Jack needs Nikki because she is everything to him — and together, they must travel back to the Underworld to undo Nikki’s fate and make her mortal once more. But Cole isn’t the only one with plans for Nikki: the Queen has not forgotten Nikki’s treachery, and she wants her destroyed for good. Will Nikki be forced to spend eternity in the Underworld, or does she have what it takes to bring down the Everneath once and for all?
Rating:

I’m still blown away by this book. I must admit that the middle part started to drag a little, but what an ending! I loved the action when they are in Everneath and I appreciate the fact that Ashton went to certain places with her story. It’s great when an author surprises you, despite the fact that it is bittersweet and heartbreaking. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending.

But I would be lying if I say that this didn't happen:

“This heart is yours. It belongs to you. It beats only for you. And somewhere out there is a heart without a home and it beats for me; and we’re not giving up until we find it.” Page 126 from ARC.
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